Affinity Villas Blog

Loulé in Algarve  – a Truly Portuguese Experience

Away from the coast, Loulé is a beautiful part of the Algarve, with countryside and villages that offer traditional, unspoiled Portugal, all just a short drive from the comfort of your holiday villa in Loulé and from Faro, the capital of the Algarve. Loulé is a walled, old market town steeped in history and retaining its castle and city walls. Ordinary Portuguese people live and work here and unlike many Algarve destinations, tourism is not its primary focus although many tourists do visit to immerse themselves in Portuguese culture and absorb the town’s historic charm.

Loulé Castle (below) was rebuilt in the 13th century and is of Moorish origin. It houses the Municipal Archaeological Museum of Loulé where an interesting collection of Roman pottery and Bronze Age artifacts is exhibited. There’s even a glass floor through which excavated Moorish ruins can be viewed.

The focal point of the town is the covered market (below), constructed in a Moorish style and housing stalls selling local produce, fresh fish and regional handicrafts.

Loulé is also home to the Algarve’s biggest and most popular Gypsy Market, which takes place every Saturday.

The town is filled with busy shopping streets, tree-lined plazas and a labyrinth of medieval alleys, with craftsmen’s workshops and traditional houses. Within the compact historic centre can be found not only the ancient castle but also the gothic Igreja Matriz, the Convento do Espírito Santo and many other reminders of this historic town’s colourful history.

Loulé has an abundance of cafés, bars and restaurants and with the vibrant coastal town of Vilamoura only a 15 minute drive away, the area has plenty of attractions after dark. During the summer season there are numerous events and festivals including the popular Festival Med towards the end of June.

Although Loulé is not on the coast, some of the most beautiful beaches in Portugal, such as Praia da Falésia (below) are within half an hour’s drive. 'Praia da Falésia', which means 'Beach of Cliffs', is a continuous stretch of golden sand almost 7km in length with beautiful, multicoloured cliffs as a backdrop. A walk along the clifftops, looking down at the shimmering sea below, is a wonderful experience at sunset as the light changes.

Quarteira Beach (below) can be reached by car in 20 minutes. It is a long, wide and busy beach with calm waters that runs from the east all the way to Faro and the tree-lined promenade is dotted with cafés and restaurants. The beach is gently sloping and is ideal for children. The safety flag system is in place during the summer season and is manned with lifeguards.

Loulé is not a conventional holiday destination and will appeal to those looking for a truly Portuguese experience close to an exclusive villa with a private pool. A hire car affords the opportunity to visit beaches and other historic centres set in the beauty of the Algarve countryside.

Algarve Villa Holidays for Couples

Choosing dates to go on holiday is that much simpler without children to consider and if you’re a couple travelling without youngsters, the school holidays may well be the very weeks you choose to avoid. Romantic strolls along the beach can seem much more appealing in the serenity of a relatively child-free zone and if you’re looking for some quality time away with your partner, privacy and tranquillity are probably quite high on your list of villa must-haves.

Affinity Villas has a number of villas that could end the search for your holiday haven if a romantic getaway is on your agenda. Whether you’re hoping to win the attention of someone new or simply looking to escape your everyday routine, a break at one of our Algarve villas can provide much needed fun and relaxation.

Brisa do Rio

Brisa do Rio is around a 15 minute drive inland from Tavira town and is set amongst the rolling hills, offering complete tranquillity set in beautiful landscape. Reached via tracks carved into the hillsides, this villa is a great choice for those looking for total down time with simple but comfortable accommodation set away from the everyday mad pace of life. The villa is not overlooked from any direction, making it a private and secluded setting. Ideal for local countryside walks yet the bustle of Tavira town, with a selection of shops, beaches and restaurants, is accessible by car.

Casa Rosa

Casa Rosa is situated mid way between Carvoeiro and Ferragudo. Raised up above Praia Grande beach, it consists of two separate cottages with a pool and fabulous uninterrupted sea views. Set in completely private grounds surrounded by shrubs and woodlands yet no more than 200m down a private pathway to a fabulous long sandy stretch of beach.

Casa Andries

This beautiful villa with mountain views is close to the charming resort of Alvor with its variety of bars, shops and restaurants and two popular beaches. It is also not far away from the five-star Le Meridien Penina resort that offers a championship golf course and a choice of restaurants.

Casa do Mau Golfista

In a much sought-after location only 100m from the beautiful sandy horse-shoe bay at Luz where there are restaurants, shops, cafes and watersports available, Casa do Mau Golfista is the ideal villa for those not wishing to rely on a car. It's a 3 bedroom property and the accommodation is arranged to take maximum advantage of the sea view from the living areas, with the bedrooms below at pool level. The small pool at the rear is perfect for a refreshing dip and the patio furniture on the terrace provides a great spot for outdoor meals or evening cocktails.